By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency
Jerusalem, Israel — January 2, 2022 … Israel Defense Minister, Benny Gantz appears to be preparing for engagement with Iran.
“These procurement agreements are significant milestones in the Israel Defense Force’s buildup processes. We will continue to strengthen our capabilities and to change and adapt our Air Force to face future challenges both near and far.”
On Thursday evening, the Israel Ministry of Defense Mission to the U.S. signed an agreement (LOA) for the purchase of 12 Lockheed Martin-Sikorsky helicopters, which will replace the IAF’s “Yasur” helicopters. The scope of the agreement is estimated at 2 billion dollars in (FMF) funding. The defense agreement was signed with the US Navy by the Head of the Mission, IDF Brig. Gen. (Res.), Michel Ben Baruch. The agreement includes an option to procure 6 additional helicopters. The first helicopters are expected in Israel during the year 2026.
The Head of the Israeli Mission signed an additional agreement for the procurement of two Boeing KC-46 refueling aircraft. The agreement amounts to approximately 1.1 billion dollars. The platform will be adapted to meet the IAF’s operational requirements and Israeli systems will be integrated into aircraft.
The procurement of these high tech, ultra modern aircraft is part of a large-scale program undertaken by the Israel Ministry of Defense together with the IDF over the last year and a half, with the objective of strengthening the IDF’s capabilities, force buildup and preparedness to face existing and future threats.
The procurement plans include the purchase of a new fleet of F-35 aircraft, refueling aircraft, CH-53K helicopters, advanced air munition, air defense systems, new marine and land platforms as well as cyber defense systems.